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5 ways to improve your Translation skills

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Translation is a very important skill, so important that you have to understand and put a lot together while translating from one language to another. It is important for you to understand the Pros and Cons of each language before you venture into translation, understand the idea behind what you are translating before you translate. To you, it might be for you to just translate but to the owner of the language it might mean so much.

Translation is a fluid, meticulous business that is consistently evolving, since no language is ever stagnant. Every tongue change and grows to remain relevant as the world develops. As a translator you must therefore grow and develop alongside, so as to remain adept at the craft.

Here are five ways to help you become an effective translator.

  • You need to READ: As the saying goes, Readers are leaders. One of the most important ways to ensure that your translations are current, contextual and meaningful is to read as much of the foreign language as possible. A dictionary is your bible and your best friend. Carry one with you as often as possible and read it in your spare time to continuously grow your vocabulary. Read as many local newspapers, journals, books and publications as you can, to absorb trends, events, cultural nuances and jargon used within the language and the field of study if there is one. Lastly, take the time to read as many translated articles as you can by your peers and seniors to pick up tips and tricks of the trade


  • You need to have Conversation: You need to talk, have conversations with people who understand the language. Try to have as many conversations as you can with native speakers of the language in question. There’s no better way to learn a language than by constantly speaking it in dialogue with experts in the language or those born to it. It’s also an excellent way t translators o pick up on nuances like colloquialisms and slang in your target language.


  • Hone Your Specialist Knowledge: Over the time translators often commit themselves to a specialization, a particular field of study wherein to build their career and repute. It’s a smart practice to do so, since it improves their credentials for clients or LSPs (Language Service Providers) looking for freelancers or professionals to translate material within that field. What you can do to further build your resume is to pursue a degree or certification within that domain, allowing you to come across as an authority within that subject.


  • Translate Vice-versa: If you’re used to comfortable with translating from, say English to another language, attempt to do it the other way around. Not only will this improve your knowledge of the relationship between the two languages, you might also discover a hitherto unknown skill in being able to do two-way translations between the language-pair – expanding the range of projects available to you


  • Use CAT Tools: As a translator, it’s essential you familiarize yourself with CAT or Computer Assisted Translation Tools. These are computer programs which allow you to improve your translation speed and quality. They also help ensure consistency prevails across the board. Instances of skipped lines or words are avoided; repetitive phrases or word-collectives are given standardized translations; and in the event multiple translators are working on a project, the tools ensure they’re all working off of a standard vocabulary-set. There is a wide availability of CAT tools in the market, including Linguee, SDL Trados, Fluency Now, MemoQ, etc.

Factors like the price-level you’re comfortable with, client requirements and file formats you’re working with will have a bearing on your eventual choice. It’s important that translators out there not be wary of using translation software and look at it as a means to assist in and improve their work.


Finally, there is also a need for you to attend seminars, hangouts that help improve your translating skills. Remember Rome wasn’t built in one day, you might not get it all at once but you will get it right one day.


Remember in case you need help we at iVoice Africa team offers quality translation services across all languages in Africa. We guarantee high-quality patent translations that ensure your intellectual property is well protected.


Reach out to us via telephone, +234 7026276411 and our email at today

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